Do you remember that episode of I Love Lucy where Lucy and Ricky, Fred and Ethel, pack up the car and drive across the country? (My mom and I used to watch that show when I was just a little mite. I can still watch two minutes of any episode and tell you which one it is, with frightening accuracy.) Of course, the liberation came after suffering they each tried to pack that jalopy with a hundred different suitcases and a pair of conga drums, in different configurations, with two inches of open windshield for a cross-country drive. (And to be honest, thats a bit what our lives feel like right now.) Still, after all the comedic turns and impossibilities, they were on the road. With a terribly obvious backdrop of a New York bridge behind them, in a car that bopped from side to side as they pretended to drive, the four of them burst into song. California, here I come. Right back where I started from .
We are on a plane to Oakland as I write this. Life being what it is, there just hasnt been any time to tell you about our plans. The last two nights, I taught a class at PCC called Say Yes to Gluten-Free. They were joyful and funny, another chance for community. (And on Tuesday, Ill be teaching another one, at the West Seattle location.) We were on Seattle television the other day, a local show called Northwest Afternoon. A blast, to be sure, and it flashed past us in a blur. (This is why I was up at 6:45 in the morning two days after I returned from Chicago, making cookies.) Everything feels a little like a blur, at the moment. Were both ready for a longer breath, a chance to be at home.
But not yet. Because our clearest emotion at the moment is excitement. Were going to San Francisco! we said all morning, as we packed clothes flying, coffee downed.
Were almost there.
Ive only been in the Bay Area a handful of times in my life. My main memory of San Francisco is the time I was ten, stuffed into the back of a neon-green VW rabbit, along with my brother and a cousin, as we wound our way down Lombard Street. (Im hoping to avoid that on this trip.) I remember eating apricot chicken in a Moroccan restaurant during a weekend visit with Gabe, while a woman belly danced before us. There was a crazy cab ride from the airport to an anonymous hotel the summer I turned 16. My family and I spent three days in that hotel, for an orientation from the Fulbright agency, before we traipsed off to London for an exchange year. Mostly, I remember looking out at the white crosses in an enormous cemetery, while I clutched the door handle as we careened around corners, thinking, Please dont let me wind up there!
Im thinking were going to have more vivid memories of San Francisco after this weekend. Most of them will probably be born from good food.
Should you wish to join us in some food and laughter in the next few days, here is where the Chef and I are going to be.
Thursday, November 8
Crave Bakery makes amazing gluten-free desserts. Cameo and her team will be making treats for everyone. Have a glass of wine. It’s a party.
This is a reservation-only party, at 7:30 pm, so please call right now for a reservation.
Friday, November 9
Book Passage in the Ferry Building 2 to 3:30 pm
The Chef and I will be hanging out in the cafe, ready to talk and laugh, and sign some books. (Formal signings/readings were booked months before Book Passage started this process, but they have been gracious enough to let us use the space.)
Come on by for a meet and greet. Or a cup of coffee.
Saturday, November 10
Have you had a Mariposa gluten-free biscotti?
If not? Oh my goodness, you are in for a treat.
We’ll be at Mariposa, from 1 to 4 pm, dipping biscotti in coffee and signing books. Come on by.
5427 telegraph ave, unit d3
oakland, ca 94609
Monday, November 12
When I told our friend Tea that we were having a party at Cav, she was impressed. “That place is swanky!” she said.
Cav Wine Bar is throwing a fabulous, sophisticated wine party in honor of the book. Did you ever imagine a gluten-free life like this?
The shindig starts at 7 pm.
Come on out and party. It will be our last night in San Francisco. We’d love to see you.
Executive Chef, Michael Lamina, is preparing some gluten-free food to be enjoyed by all.
$25 fee, including wine and gluten free snacks
1666 Market Street (between Franklin and Gough)
And of course, if you have suggestions of places we should eat, dairies we should visit, and little spots that we simply must visit? Write away!
California, here we come.